Friday, December 31, 2010


Janus was the Roman God for which the month of January is named.  He had two heads one to look forward and the other to look back.  This time of year there is a lot of that going on.  As 2010 draws to a close I want to wish all my blog friends the very best for a Happy New Year.

I really do not want to look back on 2010. It will not be one of my favorite years.  I am doing my very best not to dwell on some things and so I am just going to look forward to 2011.  Some of the things in store for me is the new Iowa Academy of Masonic Knowledge that we are working on to establish a new program for Iowa Masons.

I am also looking forward to not being Secretary of the Lodge anymore.  Some people think that once you are Secretary you should remain in that position forever.  After due consideration I decided that I was not enjoying Masonry as much as I wanted to and as the result of some things I won't go into I decided that "Better an handful with quietness than both hands full with travail and vexation of spirit." and because of a change of venue for the Lodge meetings which would require a significan number of steps for me to navigate and my knees just don't take it anymore it was time to give up the job. Unfortunately that made some people angry with me and I don't do that well so I start the year off with two less friends. I think that is about enough of that  - dwelling on the past.. I always prefer to live in the future and look forward to new things.  As for the old.. it is just that old and best forgotten. The painful parts anyway. I hope to make some new friends.  There are about 6 Billion people to choose from.

I am not looking forward to making a decision about Bailey.  He has gotten old.  He does not control himself as he should.  He bumps into things and cannot see or smell things like he used to.  His back legs don't always work as they should and he trips over anything that is in his way. (which he did not see)  He is 15 years old and other than the above he isn't in any pain.  But I know I may not have him this time next year and the tears come every time I consider it.  But that is part of being a companion to an animal.  As long as he can I will care for and love him and when the time comes he will go without suffering.  As Ginny says that is the "last thing we can do for our pets." I will miss him.

I am looking forward to a trip out west this summer to Boise, Idaho. I have never been to Idaho so that will be fun to add that to my list of places visited.  I have a blog friend from there and hope to meet him while there.  I am driving out so I got new tires on the Jeep.  My Jeep has about 147,000 miles on it.  I got 19 miles to the gallon on my trip back from Cedar Rapids this week.  With gas prices going up I may regret driving but I truly hate flying with my leg and brace and I do love to see America.  Can't wait to drive across Nebraska..... (NOT)  

I am also looking forward to taking more pictures, sharing them here with you and keeping in touch on Facebook.  Thanks for coming by to share some moments in my life. I am going to make a crock pot of soup tonight so it will be ready for the New Year.  Be gentle with one another.  Cherish your friends and thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

Found For Friday

A wife came home early and found her husband in their bedroom making love to a very attractive young woman. And she was somewhat upset.

'You are a disrespectful pig!' she cried. 'How dare you do this to me, a faithful wife, the mother of your children! I'm 

leaving you. I want a divorce right away!'

The husband replied, 'Hang on just a minute love so at least I can tell you what happened.'

'Fine, go ahead,' she sobbed,' but they'll be the last words you'll say to me!'

The husband began, 'Well, I was getting into the car to drive home, and this young lady here asked me for a lift. She looked so down and out and defenceless that I took pity on her and let her into the car. I noticed that she was very thin, not well dressed and very dirty. She told me she hadn't eaten for three days. So, in my compassion, I brought her home and warmed up the enchiladas I made for you last night, the ones you wouldn't eat because you're afraid you'll put on weight. The poor thing devoured them in moments.

"Since she needed a good clean-up, I suggested a shower, and while she was doing that, I noticed her clothes were dirty and full of holes, so I threw them away. Then, as she needed clothes, I gave her the designer jeans that you've had for a few years, but don't wear because you say they're too tight. I also gave her the underwear that was your anniversary present, which you don't wear because I don't have good taste. I found the sexy blouse my sister gave you for Christmas that you don't wear just to annoy her, and I also donated those boots you bought at the expensive boutique and don't wear because someone at work has a pair the same.'

The husband took a quick breath and continued, 'She was so grateful for my understanding and help that as I walked her to the door, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said,

"Please, do you have anything else your wife doesn't use?"                                                                     

(Note: the first time I heard this joke it was a Baker showing how he made pies.  The woman watching him asked him "Don't you have a tool for that?"  He replied, "Yes but I use it to poke holes in the donuts.")

I bought a new Chevy Equinox

And returned to the dealer yesterday
Because I couldn't get the radio to work.

The salesman explained that the radio was voice activated.

'Nelson,' the salesman said to the radio.
The radio replied, 'Ricky or Willie?'

'Willie!' he continued and 'On The Road Again' Came from the speakers.

Then he said, 'Ray Charles!', and in an instant ' Georgia On My Mind' replaced Willie Nelson.
I drove away happy, and for the next few days, Every time I'd say, 'Beethoven,'

I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said, 'Beatles,' I'd get one of their awesome songs.

Yesterday, some guy ran a red light

And nearly creamed my new truck,

But I swerved in time to avoid him.

I yelled, 'Ass Hole!'

Immediately the radio responded with,

Which one, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, or

Sarah Palin?
Dang, I love this truck...

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have Sex?'

'No,' she answered. I then said,
'Is that your final answer?'
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying, 'Yes..'
So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."
And that's when the fight started...

 Exercise makes a great new years resolution but the trouble with jogging is the ice falls out of your glass!

When I thought about the evils of drinking in the New Year, I gave up on thinking.


He grasped me firmly but gently just above my elbow and guided me
into a room, his room. Then he quietly shut the door and we were

He approached me soundlessly, from behind, and spoke in a low,
reassuring voice close to my ear.

"Just relax."

Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused
hands start at my ankles, gently probing, and moving upward along my
calves slowly but steadily. My breath caught in my throat. I knew I
should be afraid, but somehow I didn't care. His touch was so
experienced, so sure.

When his hands moved up onto my thighs, I gave a slight shudder, and
partly closed my eyes. My pulse was pounding. I felt his knowing
fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage. And then, as he cupped my firm,
full breasts in his hands, I inhaled sharply. Probing, searching,
knowing what he wanted, he brought his hands to my shoulders, slid
them down my tingling spine and into my panties.

Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and
expectant. This is a man, I thought. A man used to taking charge. A
man not used to taking `no' for an answer. A man who would tell me
what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say ...

"Okay, ma'am, all done."

My eyes snapped open and he was standing in front of me, smiling,
holding out my purse. "You can board your flight now."

Men who lack female supervision              

A virus walks into a bar. The barman looks up 
and says "We don't serve your kind here." 
The virus replaces him and says 'Now we do."

- An infectious disease walks into a bar. 
The barman looks up and says "We don't serve 
your kind here." The infectious disease looks 
disappointed and says "You're not a good host".

- Two bacteria walk into a bar. 

The barman looks up and says 
"We don't serve your kind here." 
The bacteria reply "But, we work here! We're staph!"


- A room-temperature superconductor walks into a bar. 
The barman looks up and says
"We don't serve your kind here." 
The superconductor leaves without putting 
up any resistance.


- A neutrino walks into a bar. 
The barman looks up and says 
"We don't serve your kind here." 
The neutrino replies "Hey, I was just passing through."


- Schroedinger's Cat walks into a bar... and doesn't.



Have a great week-end.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Blog

Idaho City Historic Lodge #1863 Blog.  Go look.


 Stompin Grounds was the venue for a lunch date with former students Alicia and Evan.  They live in Leiden in the Netherlands and Alicia blogs at Cycling Without a Helmet. She has an interesting Blog and I subscribe to it on my reader so that I can keep up on her activities.  I saw that she was back in Ames for the Holidays and made some comment on her blog and the next thing I knew we were having lunch.

They brightened the day and made me feel really good.  I forgot that we were having rain and fog and the promise of ice.

They were both in school at Edwards Elementary where I finished up my teaching.  Alicia was in my class and Evan was in the other class so I taught them both.  I remember him as a pretty good serious student.  Both were all around nice kids to have and I am happy that they have wound up together.  Evan is a scientist and working with Quantum physics and Electron microscopes ( I think. I get lost sometimes where those things are concerned.)  Alicia keeps the house, experiences the Dutch culture and blogs about it.  The pictures she takes are fabulous and well worth looking at so do visit her blog and enjoy.   It was great to see them and I hope we get to see each other when they come back.  Just as a side note Alicia' brother Yoni and I ate there also.  Yoni and his little brother Aaron are in Israel for Aaron's 18th birthday.  Alicia said that Aaron climbed to the top of Masada for his birthday.  You can see more of it here.  Thanks for stopping by, Be gentle with one another and stay warm.  Hugs,  j

Ready for your pat down?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Road Trip to Cedar Rapids

This gives you an idea of what the drive to Cedar Rapids was like today.  I don't like driving in fog and it was fog for all 108 miles.  But the temperature was good and it really just meant that I had to drive at a safe speed and that did increase my gas mileage.  I got there in good time and wandered around the Grand Lodge Building and snapped some shots.

This is the Conference Room where we held our meeting.  I am chairman of an ad hoc Committee of the Grand Lodge and we are working to set up an Iowa Academy of Masonic Knowledge.

The Grand Master, Craig Davis was able to join us.  Other members of the Committee are  Tim Anderson, Deputy Grand Secretary and Bill Jacobson, Personal Rep for the Valley of Cedar Rapids and George Harrison of the Sioux City Scottish Rite.  He had to come the most distance. 

I took this shot down the corridor.  I liked the way the Christmas Tree outside the War Memorial Room reflected on both of the polished walls.  It came out interesting.  Not what I expected but I like it.

This is a closer picture of the tree and the entrance to the War Memorial Room

The painting hangs in the room and I want to steal it for use with the Iowa Academy.  It symbolizes Masonry for me.  Haven't asked the other committee members about it yet.  This picture is a view of the other side of the room  I love the sculpted Square and Compasses in the carpet.

 The tree from the back -( Well duh that is obvious)
 This is a treasure being restored.  It was presented in honor of T, S. Parvin who founded the library and was the first Grand Secretary.

This is a "Shrine" cabinet also being restored which is also a treasure.  I believe they were stored in the basement until a PGM and another Brother decided to restore them,  

We walked over to have lunch across the street and when I came back I snapped these with my phone.  You don't usually see the grand Lodge from this angle.  The lions in front were covered with snow.  Tomorrows warmer temperaturs should take care of that.

It was a productive meeting and I am excited about what we are trying to accomplish.  The trip home was just as foggy and the only problem was the last half hour was without the help of the sun. But I made it and am having a nice Iowa Bourbon (double) to celebrate making it.  Have a wonderful evening.

BTW that is Tim Anderson, Deputy Grand Secretary watching me take the photo. One of Iowa's most dedicated Masons.  

Be Gentle to one another, Hugs,  j

Bill Peake's Clocks

Friend and Right Worshipful Brother Bill Peake who is serving as Grand Chaplain for the Grand Lodge this year has an obsession... at least one. We were conversing on Facebook yesterday - We both got our hairscut. I mentioned his clocks which he has been showing us on his Facebook account and he sent me this note about his clock collection and how he got into them. He gave me permission to share.
I started getting interested in clocks when I had a regulator clock at my church which everyone thought they had to a result it never worked and a buddy who repaired clocks came over and showed me the ins and outs. It peaked my curiosity and last spring I asked him to take me on as an apprentice. We've never really worked together heavily on the clocks but he guided me in tool purchase and some basic elements of clock repair. He even gave me my first clock to work on.

Then the fever bit me. So far I've donated a mantle clock for a fund raiser at Estherville York Rite, donated one as a memorial, gave a small cuckoo away to a child this Christmas whose mom is in jail. One son took one home at Christmas....I have 3 on the way here - 2 cuckoos and a mantle clock. I have sold one old calendar regulator and purchased another one to replace it. And I have two other mantles needing some repair that I have not gotten to yet! All this while serving as Gr. Chap, Master of my lodge and pastor of my church as well as part time husband and dad! HA! Glutton for punishment. I have the clocks placed strategically between my church office, my home and my bedroom. Add to this that my wife hates chimes because she can't go back to sleep if she gets up in the night and hears them. Well, my life has rarely been uncomplicated...which is why I enjoy the clocks...there is just something so orderly and dependable about their mechanics and the constancy of the 'tick-tock'! I find it very relaxing and comforting. Here are some pix of my clocks.

1st Sold Diane Matson
Beveled Glass Mantle
Full Barwick
Kassel Mantle Donated to York Rite.
My Big Cuckoo
Vintage Hamilton Mantle Clock

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


 I don't really like going to Hickory Park for lunch.  For one thing you have to wait in a mess like this.  They make you wait until you have your entire party there and then they tale you back to a booth which was cramped and the place is loud.  It does have great food, however and I imagine that is why we continue to go there.
 Emily and Tracy

It was a bright sunny day today and I drove over to Nevada (the County Seat) to get my car license renewal.  My birthday was November 13 and the sticker would have expired on Friday night.  No problem I got it.  As I was leaving I ran into Cal Halliburton who was there to help his wife Jane clear out her office. She is retiring as County Supervisor.  Article about it here.  Cal was a teacher with the Ames Schools and both he and Jane are friends of mine.  It was good to run into him. 

Well I got home and cleaned off the license plate and went to put the sticker on it but it would not stick. So I had to make another trip over to get a replacement.  This time I ran into Brother Bill Yungclas from Lodge.  And this time the sticker stuck.  The person who helped me with the replacement said to warm the plate up with my thumb before sticking it on. 

I was thinking of going to Des Moines to see a movie but decided to stay home instead.  I have a trip to Cedar Rapids tomorrow and that will need all the energy I can muster.  Besides the Kennedy Center Honors is on TV tonight and I always enjoy that.  

Be gentle with one another.  Hugs,  j